Northland News

Rezoning approved for Cleveland Ave. site


On his third straight appearance before the Northland Community Council development committee last week, Realtor Michael A. Moore got his clients what they finally decided they wanted: the rezoning of undeveloped property at 4873 Cleveland Ave. so it can be sold to someone to develop an office building instead of becoming home to a church.

"We just want to get it rezoned to market it as commercial so whoever buys it can put up an office building," said Moore, who represents Everybody People Ministries.

The panel's members voted 13-0 to recommend approval of the rezoning request from the existing single-family rural residential to C-2, according to Vice Chairman William Logan.

Logan presided over the session in the absence of Chairman Dave Paul.

"It's really a poor place to put a house," Moore said of the site.

He appeared before the development committee in June to request C-2 zoning, but the uses he said a prospective buyer had for the 0.675-acre property included retail zones not permitted under that designation.

Moore was back again in July, this time asking for C-4 zoning, which would permit a store or even a restaurant, which the possible purchaser was considering.

Logan pointed out then that the site would probably not permit a building large enough to house all the uses proposed by the buyer.

"You've got like 10 pounds in a 5-pound sack," he said on July 30, noting that no curb cut would be possible giving access onto Cleveland Avenue, so all traffic to the lot would have to come in off the side street, Edmonton Road.

"It kind of is what it is," Moore said philosophically at last week's meeting. "It's really an awkward piece of property, and we feel an office building would be the best use for the property."

Also last week, committee members heard from attorney Brent Rosenthal, representing Zomi Christian Church, which he said is a small congregation of around 150 members made up mostly of immigrants from Myanmar. His clients want to purchase an office building at 5918 Sharon Woods Blvd. to hold services, but the property lacks the parking that is required for a church, Rosenthal said.

The application requested a variance from 98 spaces down to 58, but at the meeting Rosenthal said his clients had gotten permission from National Church Residences to use the spacious parking lot at the Center for Senior Health-North, 1700 E. Dublin-Granville Road. That agreement, which he said would be finalized soon, would provide more than the necessary parking spaces, although a variance was still needed since some of them are off site.

The vote in that case was a recommendation for approval from 11 committee members, according to Logan. One was opposed and one abstained, he added.

"It was reiterated that it appears the zoning code, with respect to churches and parking requirements for them, seems to be inordinately large and therefore a burden to the applicants," Logan said following the meeting.